Seeing Darkness: The First Image of a Black Hole

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Why in News:

  • the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration showed the world the unseeable the very first image of a black


  • The black hole itself could not be seen, because light cannot escape its intense gravitational attraction.
  • Event horizon telescope that envelops the black hole is the point of no return and any object transgressing this boundary is lost. photon (light quantum) can orbit the black hole without falling
  • This is called the ‘last photon ring’, The EHT imaged the effect of silhouette of a black hole. It had been after hundred years the black hole made its way into physics through Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the LIGO collaboration first directly observed the gravitational waves made by the merging of two black holes, the ‘dark star’ which had finally been imaged. The Higgs boson was detected 50 years after it had been postulated, and gravitational waves were after Einstein predicted them.
  • A black hole marks the end of spacetime and nothing that enters it can escape from the tremendous gravitational attraction.

Two images of EHT

  • The EHT set out to image two candidate supermassive black holes.
  • Sagittarius A, which is 26,000 light years from the earth, at the centre of the Milky it was of more distant one. Another which is 55 million light years away at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy in the Virgo galaxy cluster. The very long baseline interferometry technique linked radio dishes of telescopes across the world to produce a virtual telescope the size of the earth.


  • Combining data from telescopes, each with different characteristics, was a separate challenge. In order to overcome this, Cutting-edge developments from computer science related to image recognition were efforts have been made to develop an algorithm to put the data together and create the image in a TEDx talk projects.

Black hole:

  • A black hole is a region in space where gravity pulls to an extent that even light cannot escape. The gravity is so powerful because matter is compressed into a little space.

How Big Are Black Holes?

  • Black holes may be either big or According to scientists, the smallest black holes are as small as an atom. These are very small but have the mass (amount of content in an object) of a mountain.
  • A different type of black hole is stellar whose mass can be upto 20 times greater than mass of the There can be many stellar black holes in Earth’s galaxy which is known by the name Milky Way. The biggest black hole is known as ‘supermassive’, and their masses can be 1 million suns together. According to Scientists, every large galaxy includes a supermassive black hole in the center. This supermassive black hole which exists in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy is known as Sagittarius. Its mass is same as about 4 million suns.

How Do Black Holes Form?

  • Primordial black holes are considered to have formed in the early universe soon after the big bang. Stellar black holes were produced when the middle of a massive star collapsed

Way forward:

This experiment endorses the diversity of collaboration, as it needs patience and good faith in the power of science.

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